By Sean Adams

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Mahwah residents are organizing to block the construction of a mega mall in the neighborhood.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports on the town’s opposition to the mall

Crossroads Development announced plans recently to a build a couple of box stores, a movie theater and a retail space on a 140-acre parcel where the old Ford plant stood, but residents do not want it at all.

Michael Richards said the town is already backed up with traffic congestion.

“We don’t really want to become Paramus North,” he said. “We’re concerned about that and the congestion.”

The shopping plaza would be built near the intersection of routes 17 and 287, and Mahwah Mayor John DaPuzzo said construction of the plaza brings an economic incentive to the town.

“It’s $2 million worth of building permits and $2.1 million worth of tax revenue for future budgets,” DaPuzzo said.

The developer needs a zoning change to proceed.

DaPuzzo said traffic improvements are already on the way thanks to current projects and so the plaza would not worsen current conditions.

“I think the majority of the traffic, that we’re going to be existing traffic that’s already on the road but I don’t think the impact is as great as everybody thinks and there’s going to be a significant amount of improvements on route 17,” he said.

Richards, meanwhile, is still unconvinced.

“My main thing is the traffic. Other people in the group have concerns about pollution and crime,” Richards said.

Debate will continue this week at the Mahwah council meeting and will include traffic, crime, pollution and taxes on the table.

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